tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS July 25, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening, no one saw the movie theater massacre coming but someone could have. it turns out days before the shooting the suspect james holmes mailed a package to the university of colorado anschutz medical campus where he had been a student. the package had been sent to a psychiatrist who was also holmes' professor but that package wasn't discovered until monday, three days after the shooting. this story is just breaking tonight and our senior correspondent john miller has details. john, what do we know? >> reporter: scott, this was not unexpected. as we reported, u.s. postal inspectors have been searching through the mailboxes near the suspect's home looking for letters or packages james holmes might have sent out. they didn't find any, but now we
know that's because the package had already been sent even before the shooting. on monday afternoon, investigators scoured the mail room at the university of colorado and found what they've been searching for-- a piece of mail from the alleged shooter, james holmes. but before opening it, the sheriff's bomb squad handled it with a robot and took an x-ray just in case there were explosives inside. sources say the letter was from a pent-up holmes to one of his professors. in it he talked about shooting people and even included crude drawings of a gunman and his victims. the letter arrived days before friday's shooting but had not been processed out of the mail room. former f.b.i. senior profiler mary ellen o'toole says we may see more letters from the alleged shooter. >> particularly because of the complexity of the case and how much work this person put into these two different crime scenes.
they appear to want, in my opinion, a lot of credit for all their hard work. >> reporter: but the biggest question remains, motive. will the letter holmes sent give any insight into that? other cases like the rambling video sent to a t.v. network by the virginia tech shooter have shown us that even when suspects try to explain their actions it rarely makes sense to anyone else. >> i can guarantee you we will find it unsatisfying because there's nothing that this individual could say to us that would cause us and the general public to sit back and say now i understand why you did this. >> pelley: john, why did the police come to search that mail room? >> well, the mailbox searches they did on the street were directed. this was not random. they had an investigative lead that put them in that mail room and apparently the lead came indirectly from holmes himself. apparently some time after his arrest he mentioned that a letter had gone to the school from him and that's what they were looking for. >> pelley: john, thanks very
much. as you know, holmes is in jail tonight under investigation in the shooting that killed 12 and wounded 43. anna werner is outside that jail in centennial, colorado. anna, what did you find out today? >> reporter: scott, public defender daniel king got his chance to go inside the apartment of his client, james holmes, today, the place where the 24-year-old allegedly plotted last friday's shooting. king and his team were in the apartment for about an hour. we could see them walking around through the broken window. this comes one day after prosecutors and investigators also spent time in the apartment gathering more evidence. one neighbor who did not want to go on camera told us he remembers starting in mid-june seeing james holmes leave his apartment carrying a rifle bag and targets in the mornings. authorities here believe holmes was very familiar with his weapons. jennifer seeger, who was just five feet away from the gunman when he entered theater nine's
emergency exit says he took precise aim at victims. >> he was relentless. he just kept shooting, fires, over and over. i think there was probably 50 gun shells in there just on people alone and anybody would try to get away they would... he would just shoot them. >> reporter: and, scott, authorities are now trying to figure out how holmes became so proficient at using those weapons and whether he may have practiced somewhere. for instance at a local gun range. >> pelley: anna, thank you. today at the first of the funerals, about 150 people respects to gordon cowden. his family remembered him as a quick-witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor and devoted to his children. there are still 17 people in the hospital tonight-- six of them are in critical condition. now to the worst drought in more than 50 years. 42 states are in dry conditions and today the agriculture department gave us its first prediction of what it could mean
for food prices. by next year, beef could cost as much as 5% more. dairy products 4.5% more. and there could be a 4% increase on poultry and eggs. dean reynolds reports that we've already seen a 50% jump in the price of corn in just the last month. >> reporter: because corn is such an integral part of everyday food-- from livestock feed to sweeteners for sodas and snacks-- the poor yield this is year on farms like bob bleuer's in illinois can mean only one thing for prices. >> they're going to go up and they're going to go up big time. this country lives on corn. >> reporter: about 45% of the nation's corn crop is in poor to very poor condition thanks to the drought. >> the plant dies from the bottom up. >> reporter: chris hurt is an agricultural economist at purdue. >> we are at a point where really the corn crop is simply running out of water nutrient to
go ahead and make crop. we have more farmers saying they are near losing all of their crop in terms of corn than we've ever seen before. >> reporter: inventories of corn and soybeans are at very low levels. that's driving commodity prices higher. the prices for poultry and cattle which feed on the nation's grains are going up as well. so ranchers are taking their cattle to market early. this man is at the chicago board of trade. >> cattle go to slaughter because they can't afford to feed them. so meat prices will go down in the short term but in the long term when there's no more cattle left you'll see meat prices climb. >> reporter: we have had some rain across the midwest, scott, but it's been accompanied by scorching temperatures. it was in the high 90s today in chicago, for example, and that just speeds up the evaporation of the moisture the crops desperately need. >> pelley: and not much of a
break in sight. dean, thank you very much. higher food prices, of course, are not what this economy needs. the recession was touched off by the housing meltdown. and the housing meltdown has yet to recover. the government reported today that sales of new homes fell nearly 8.5% last month. still, that was better than 15% improvement from a year ago. tonight, a major battle is shaping up for syria's largest city. aleppo is about the size of los angeles and part of it is held by rebels who are trying to overthrow the 42-year-old dictatorship of bashar al-assad. assad is trying to crush that rebellion which began nearly a year and a half ago. elizabeth palmer reports tonight from across the border in lebanon. >> reporter: syrian military helicopters flew over aleppo today but not shooting, activists said, just spotting the positions of rebel fighters on the ground.
a free syrian army commander made a bold claim. "we have captured half the city," he said. but how long can they hold on in these neighborhoods? they're equipped for street-by- street fighting guerrilla style, though no match for air power or the regime's heavy artillery which is already on the way. the fight for aleppo will be fierce. it's a strategic prize. if the rebels take it on top of azaz which they won earlier this week the area would form the first free syrian army controlled zone all the way to the turkish border. the united nations and the international community are still calling for dialogue in syria. but dialogue has been drowned out by the din of war. civilian casualties like these victims of shelling are just hoping to survive and the armed men on both sides are determined to win, not talk.
>> pelley: elizabeth palmer is joining us now in beirut. liz, when you talk to the free syrian army people, what are their concerns going forward? >> reporter: well, they're concerned this is going to be a long fight and a very costly one. and the people we talked to here also are concerned about what they see as a split in the free syrian army. and they say that the fundamentalist islamic brigades are getting more money, more support, and maybe even the upper hand in this fight and that's not going down well with everybody. >> pelley: elizabeth, thank you. syria rarely allows recorders into that country but our clarissa ward managed to get in and earlier today she sent us a short description of what this war looks like on just one street in just one town. >> reporter: syrian tanks pulled out of this village yesterday and residents here tell us that they are thrilled to have their liberty. but look at the scene that was left behind.
people here told us that helicopter gun ships swooped in here on thursday and obliterated this entire street and just look at this crater. this is the result of those rockets slamming into the earth. it will take the residents of this village years to rebuild the damage that their own army has done. and even their newfound liberty is not guaranteed. those tanks only went to join the bat that will is raging just north of here in aleppo and if regime forces manage to crush that rebellion you can be sure they will be back here soon. >> pelley: clarissa ward reporting from inside syria. we learned something about another dictator today. it turns out that north korea's jim congress un is married. a mystery woman seen with kim is his wife ree solju. kim has been running the country for seven months but this is the first his people have heard of their first lady. greenland thaws out. what nasa satellites show us.
london's fuming over olympic- sized traffic jams. and a volcano has it raining ash in japan when the "cbs evening news" continues. at kenmore appliances we get it. that's why no brand in america gives you more of the capacity you need. we put more in, so you get more out. kenmore. syou know, i've helped a lot off people save a lot of money. but today...( sfx: loud noise of large metal object hitting the ground) things have been a little strange. (sfx: sound of piano smashing) roadrunner: meep meep. meep meep?
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>> pelley: the olympics got an early start today with women's soccer. the u.s. came from two goals down to beat france 4-2. of course, it's early yet, but mark phillips found out today that a lot of londoners are already fed up with the olympics. >> reporter: it's a tale of two cities-- in the same place. a joyous city building toward a great world event. and a fuming city stuck in the mess that event has caused. >> rubbish. waste of time. >> reporter: today was not a waste of time for 100-year-old diana gould who seemed thrilled in her role in the olympic flame relay. but on london's roads a lot of time was being wasted. the new olympic lane system came into effect. only official vehicles allowed. anyone else caught in the lane could face a $200 fine. a tough levy for taxpayers already footing the game's $14 billion price tag. >> as a u.k. citizen trying to
get to work, why should it take me another two hours to try and pay tax and fund silly lanes like that. so it's pointless. pointless. >> reporter: this is an olympic lane-- wide open. normal people are over there. london cabbies have become so infuriated over london gridlock they organized a demonstration against it that they had to call off because of the gridlock. it's not a complaint that gets any sympathy from london's mayor boris johnson. >> they were complaining about the rain. they're now complaining about the sun. i think... >> reporter: they're complaining about the lanes is what they're complaining about. is it necessary for a city to prostrate itself were the i.o.c. the way cities have to in order to hold the games. >> well, you know, we're not prostrating ourselves before anybody. >> reporter: holing an olympic games is a big risk. their smooth running-- or not-- can make or break a city's reputation. are you sleeping nights? >> until about 5:00 in the morning. >> reporter: and the games haven't even officially begun. the opening ceremony isn't until
friday. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> pelley: there was an incident at the games today before north korea played soccer against colombia. have a look. this is the north korean flag and this is the south korean flag. it's hard to mix them up. but on the scoreboard they put up the wrong flag. and the north koreans refused to play for more than an hour. the organizers apologized and north korea had its revenge. it won 2-0. there was a volcanic eruption in japan today. the sudden explosion sent a shudder through the entire volcano and a plume of ash soared 10,000 feet. no one was hurt, but nearby residents in kagoshima-- population 600,000-- spent a lot of the day sweeping up a thick coating of ash. there is chaos in anaheim tonight. violent protests in the wake of two deadly police shootings. that's next.
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>> pelley: federal investigators will look into two deadly shootings by the police in anaheim, california. the shootings over the weekend touched off four days of violent protests and we sent ben tracy city to anaheim-- a city in crisis. >> reporter: protests turned into riots last night in anaheim.
200 police officers from surrounding cities were called in. the unrest began saturday when anaheim police shot and killed 25-year-old manuel diaz. protesters showed up and a scuffle began. in the chaos that followed, officers fired non-lethal bullets and lost control of a patrol dog. balice say diaz was a gang member reaching for an object in his waistband. his family says he was unarmed and running away. >> i watched as my son took his last breath. i watched as his heart stopped beating. >> reporter: genevieve huizar is diaz's mother. >> please stop the violence. it's not going to bring my son back. >> reporter: some residents in this latino community feel they are unfairly targeted by police who are trying to crack down on neighborhood gangs. >> i command you to disperse. >> reporter: protests grew after a second fatal shooting sunday of a suspected gang member who police say shot at them.
at one point, 1,000 people were out here in the street rioting and eventually started smashing windows at nearby businesses. the police department believes two-thirds of the people doing this came from outside of anaheim to create anarchy. john welter is anaheim's police chief. >> our job isn't to stand back in the back and let anarchists or rioters injure people. >> reporter: anaheim mayor tom tait promises a full investigation of shootings. >> we want the truth and whatever that truth is we will own it. >> reporter: yet for now this city is just trying to secure its streets. ben tracy, cbs news, anaheim. >> pelley: in las vegas today, lady luck was shining on some window washers who got stuck 35 stories up at the vdara hotel. firefighters climbed down from the roof to rescue them. they were lowered one by one. nobody was hurt. the rescue operation took three hours in 104 degrees heat. we got some satellite images from nasa today that show greenland may be finely living
up to its name. the one on the left is from july 8. the section in white shows the sheet of ice that covered the island's surface. the image on the right was taken just four days later. scientists say a blanket of warm air caused almost all of the ice on the surface to melt. it's an unusual event which hasn't happened in 123 years. nasa is also looking at mars on a mission straight out of hollywood. that's next. ,,
>> television and the space program grow together and nasa has always been savvy about using television to promote their space adventures. but bill whitaker reports that nasa has gone hollywood with a new film on the internet that is out of this world. >> 350 nasa scientist at the gp l laboratory in pasadena had been working in obscurity for nine years, there were designing and building and programming the third and biggest and by far the most complex mars rover. the onetime " curiosity " it is now hurtling to mars on a two and half billion dollar mission to search for signs that there was, or is, life on the
red planet >> this mission is the coolest thing i think we have ever done. >> he is part of the team, not as a scientist but as a video producer. with curiosity one week from landing, he says the scientists are ready for their closeups. >> when people look at it, it looks crazy. sometimes when we look at it, it is crazy. >> this movie is the hottest thing ever on nasa's web site. the scientists are the stars. >> these are the space jockeys. behind the row permission. and, they're real people, with real fears, real vulnerabilities, and that is what the audience wants to see and engage with. >> the production value have gone along with since voyager 2 in the '70s. this now viral curiosity video looks like something out of hollywood. it is a thrill ride, especially in the high-stakes lending.
for seven minutes scientists will be biting their nails, waiting for radio transmissions to cross millions of miles, signaling success or failure. >> when we first get word that we have touched the top of atmosphere, the vehicle has been alive, or dead, on the surface. for least seven minutes. >> it seems like science- fiction. a hovercraft steady by rockets, designed just for this, will gently lower the car sized rover to the martian surface and then fly out of the way. >> if any one thing does not work just right, it is a game over. >> i know that when we get that signal, and a lot of people are going to be crying. i'm going to be crime .. >> if all goes according to plan, curiosity will be landing on a plan in new us from august 6th. bill whitaker, cbs news, pasadena. >> and that is the cbs evening news for tonight.
for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. >> good evening i am helen martin >> i am dana king, today the governor said off what could turn into a water war. >> it involves an $18 billion plan to tunnel sacramento delta water to southern california. phil matier says that the governor is not mincing words about getting it done. >> he is not. as a matter of fact he came out swinging on what could be the biggest political fight of his administration. the classic water wars north and south. >> i want to get it done. i want to get this done. the best i can. all right? >> the feisty governor jerry brown kicked off a new water war between north and south california. and just like a fight over the ill-fated canal in the 1980's, he seems ready to renew the fight.
>> we have farmers, we have fish, we have environmentalist, with citizens. and we have to make it work somehow. >> the $23 billion plan calls for building a 35 mi. long tunnel from the sacramento river to tracy. the idea is to send northern california water south to homes in los angeles and farmers in the central valley. >> any plan of this magnitude will drawl many levels of criticism, and concern and questions. so we're taking them all. >> and indeed, opponents from environmentalist to farmers and fishermen and lawmakers, they were quick and loud with their objections. >> it does not make sense to me. it is another half baked idea. the environmental studies are not complete. >> the plan calls for the restoration of the sacramento san joaquin delta, a vast area of water and wildlife that has suffered a steady decline as the state's cities